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Pride In Beowulf And Hamlet

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Cass Howell English IV Sister Christa Marie 2-21-17 Pride in Beowulf and Hamlet In the Anglo Saxon and English Renaissance eras, the theme of pride or hubris had played an important role in the development of literary works like Beowulf, written by an anonymous author, and Hamlet, written by William Shakespeare. Pride was an important aspect in the Anglo Saxon culture. Some may say that the main character Beowulf had shown excessive pride, his hamartia, which lead to his unfavorable death. However, others may say that Beowulf did not show any hubris, and that pride shown by Beowulf was a necessary act for a warrior. It is believed that in order for a warrior to gain the trust of his people, the warrior must boast. During the English Renaissance…show more content…
A scholar wrote reflecting the acts of a warrior, "Since hope and meaning in heroic life are found only in action, the only possible response to terror is to act against it." (Cox) If a warrior was expected to act against any form of threat, the warrior was trusted among the lay people of the kingdom. The people believed that the warrior should have pride in himself so he has the potential to act against terror. The fear was that if a warrior did not have faith in himself, he would be a coward and not act upon terror or he would go into battle and lose. Pride was necessary in a warrior to create a bold and courageous warrior whom the people could trust to defend them. However, with the introduction of Christianity to the Anglo Saxons, they were aware of the threats of the biblical sense of pride. King Hrothgar speech which warned Beowulf of the dangers of a warrior becoming too prideful, was a major…show more content…
Beowulf, a skilled warrior and was believed to be the strongest of all the lands, heard about the distress in Heorot and decided to make the voyage to assist King Hrothgar. When Beowulf and his men arrived in Heorot, the natives were intimidated by the appearance of his ship and his men, which showed the first act of pride in Beowulf. Beowulf and his men had successfully proved to the people of Heorot that Beowulf believed that he could kill the monster and save the land of Heorot. Hrothgar assigned the duty of killing Grendel to Beowulf and his men, and told them to party, which attracts and angers Grendel, and wait for Beowulf. Grendel entered the mead hall while Beowulf laid patient and observant, waiting for the perfect time to attack, with his bare hands. Beowulf attacked and tore off the arm of Grendel, mortally wounding him.Beowulf, not only upheld the warrior code of conduct, to trust in himself, but took the fight against Grendel to the extreme. He decided to fight without the use of a
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